Websites obtain traffic from a number of sources, including Google (or other search engines), social media, word-of-mouth, and advertising (such as pay-per-click ads). All traffic sources do not require a fee, except for advertising. But what’s interesting is that many ecommerce businesses continue to pay for pay-per-click (PPC) ads to this day, which proves that it’s an effective solution with high ROI.
What is PPC Anyway?
Pay-per-click is an internet marketing model wherein advertisers pay a fee (cost-per-click or CPC) to the PPC ad network every time one of their ads is clicked. Each click translates to one visitor to a website. Simply put, companies buy visits to the site, instead of earning visits organically.
There are tons of PPC ad networks available today, but the most popular ones include Google’s AdWords, Facebook Ads, Amazon Advertising and Bing Ads, among others. These ad networks don’t provide a flat-rate of cost-per-clicks. Instead, they use an auction-type system that estimates cost based on demand. Because of this, clicks can add up quite expensively, or go way below your company’s budget.
Pros and Cons of PPC
PPC ads benefit ecommerce sites because ad campaigns are easily launched and offer plenty of analytic tools to measure keywords, audience, and overall performance of every ad. Paying for PPC ads provide a much precise market targeting and achieve better goals when compared to search engine optimization (SEO).
The main disadvantage of PPC advertising is the price. If you pay for a long-term PPC campaign, it could reach thousands of dollars (depending on your niche and keywords), and much cheaper to obtain new traffic via a long-term SEO campaign.
If you’re currently busy with a SEO campaign that’s giving your ecommerce site positive returns, PPC ads can still help. It’s because not all shoppers prefer using organic search results; some are more inclined to click ads. Getting in front of all types of your audience is the best way to obtain traffic from all fronts.
5 Sale-Boosting Tips for eCommerce Businesses
1. Write Click-worthy Ad Copy and Landing Page
Because your ad only has a few seconds to get the attention of your target audience, you have to craft the best ad copy you could write for the ad to convert successfully. Make sure your ad stands out from a million other ads that run all over the internet. Give your target audience value, such as free delivery, discount, or freebie. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action on your headline – adding “shop now” makes a whole lot of difference.
Of course, don’t just work on your ad copy. Your landing pages must also be written well with as much information as possible. Add customer reviews and combine other media such as videos, infographics, photos, and the like.
Lastly, take advantage of ad extensions, which would help you in customizing performance of every ad and in turn increase performance for up to 7%. There’s no cost to add extensions, so make sure to check out Google AdWords.
2. Qualify Traffic
Qualifying traffic means targeting the people who would see your ad. The goal of your PPC ad isn’t so everyone clicks on them, but just the people who would be interested in your products and have higher chances of buying from your ecommerce store.
Keyword and market research is a huge part of qualifying traffic. Learn what keywords your target market uses to search for your products and adapt these keywords into your ad campaigns. Be specific in describing what you have to offer, include your business location, and define negative keywords (those you don’t want to target), so that you could narrow down potential customers clicking on your ad.
3. Choose the Best Place to Advertise
The PPC network you place your ads in will also affect how well they would perform. Google Merchant Center is the most popular PPC platform, followed by Amazon and Facebook.
Your choice depends largely on the niche of your ecommerce business. For example, if you sell all kinds of prank gifts on your store, Facebook will be a better platform because of the viral potential of your items. If you’re able to host products on Amazon, then that’s where your PPC ads should be prioritized before any other platform.
4. Diversify Your Ads and Perform A/B Tests
There’s no guarantee that your PPC ads would work right off the bat. You’ll have to test several types of ads before figuring out which layout, type of ad, and campaign type would work best for your business.
Text ads are recommended for products you’d want to highlight, while a Product Listing Ad could work for specific categories of your store. There’s no single formula to the perfect ad, which is why A/B testing different ad campaigns is an important part of your advertising strategy.
5. Analyze PPC Data
Most PPC platforms provide advanced analytics to businesses. This helps in pinpointing which ads are performing great, and which ones aren’t. You’ll also be able to see valuable information, such as keywords used by the site visitor, where clicks came from, and how much revenue you’re making. Such data can be used for future ad campaigns, or to tweak existing ones to perform better.
The Bottom Line
Online shopping is a part of today’s fast-paced world, and it’s never going away. In fact, based on Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q1 2017, Product Listing Ads clicks increased to 51% in Q1 2017 from 48% of Q4 2016.
So if your ecommerce business needs a boost in traffic and new customers quickly, consider PPC advertising as part of your marketing campaign… and make sure to follow our five effective PPC tips.